Jean-Eric Vergne had a solid first day at the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Canada as he finished tenth place in both practice sessions.
The Frenchman suffered a few technical issues in the opening session but thankfully for Vergne the team managed to identify the problems and get him back out for the second practice.
“Despite the little issue that we had this morning, which cut my session short, we managed to still achieve a good test programme today.” said Vergne.
While Vergne was happy with the general running he feels that he can get more out of the car.
“As for the car performance, I’m not 100 percent happy because, even though it looked quite promising in the morning, we lost some speed in the afternoon. On the positive side, the long run pace was not too bad and we know in which areas we have to work to improve for FP3 and Qualifying, so I remain pretty confident for tomorrow.”
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat also suffered mechanical issues that reduced his track time, finishing fifthteenth and nineteenth in the respective sessions.
“We had some problems with the car today that limited my track time.” said Kyvatt who has never driven on the circuit before arriving this weekend.
“That’s not ideal as I have never driven here before, but thanks to a useful simulator session last week, I found myself quite confident with the track straight away and felt able to attack the kerbs and the corners.
“It’s a very interesting circuit, very different to anything else we have raced on so far. Apart from the problem, the car felt good, so I am still confident and feel we can aim high for tomorrow.”
Head of Vehicle Performance Laurent Mekies had hoped for more track time with both cars but feels that the team have something to work with.
“It was a very mixed day for us, because we struggled to get all the track running we wanted to get done today with various issues in the morning with JEV and in the afternoon with Daniil” said Mekies.
“As a result we have completed a lot less laps than planned and our programme was therefore condensed. It will be tricky to analyse everything tonight, but on a positive note the underlying speed was there straight away from both drivers.
“JEV has always performed very well here and Daniil who despite the very few laps today was up to speed in a very short amount of time. If we can put all the things together and get enough running done during tomorrow’s FP3, we should still be able to be competitive during Qualifying.”
Ricardo Penteado from Renault Sport F1, who the Italian team have been working very closely with to identify issues with the powerplant also acknowledge the mixed day but felt the team had gathered some useful data.
“Today we had good and bad points” said Penteado. “We had a battery problem on JEV’s car in FP1 and needed to end the session early, but after changing the part we had a trouble-free FP2 and collected a lot of data.
“Daniil also had a tough FP1 and then aborted his afternoon session with a fuel leak that damaged some of the internals of the Power Unit. We’ll have to change the PU but with a new unit we are hopeful we won’t see the same issues again over the rest of the weekend. We’ve nevertheless collected a lot of information and it will be useful to improve tomorrow.”